Brussels, Paris, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Vienna, Warsaw, Prague or Dublin ? In less than two months, the european banking Authority (EBA), in charge of ensuring the proper functioning of the banking sector in the EU, will know in which city will be its new address. Currently based in London, the EBA will be asked to leave the tour Canada One of the business district of Canary Wharf, once the Brexit become effective, in the spring of 2019.
If the EBA does not use “only” 190 people, compared to nearly 900 for the european medicines Agency, which must also move, eight capital cities applied to host. Considered by the european Commission, which made public its findings Saturday, September 30. No score or ranking, but an assessment according to six criteria allowing to know a little more about the chances of each.
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The desire for continuity promotes geographical proximity ?
The first basic requirement, namely the presence of local large enough, it is respected by all applications. Warsaw offers the smaller office area (4.150 square meters, is the current area of the EBA). Paris has provided two options, one in the la Défense district and the other in the center of town, in a place kept secret, “which correspond to the wishes of the EBA”. The pretenders are distinguishable rather quickly on the way to ensure a smooth transition, a criterion of the utmost importance for the european Commission.
The wealthiest of the cities and near London, such as Frankfurt, Paris and Luxembourg, have provided one or more strategies for the transfer of the activities of the authority. All three, in the same way that Brussels and Dublin, also emphasize their central place within the continent and accessibility in a short time, since London and many other capitals. Two central criteria that seem to give an edge to these applications, to the detriment of Prague, Warsaw and even Vienna, more remote and therefore less practical to implement a smooth transition before march 2019.
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“The possibility [for the authority] to maintain its current workforce is also essential for the continuity,” says the Commission. In this perspective, the most attractive cities from a geographical point of view, the size and of the cultural heritage to start with an advantage. Dublin, for example, takes advantage of the sharing of the English language with the Uk, while Paris focuses on the presence ofinternational schools and the willingness to support the spouses of employees in their facility and their job search.
Tax benefits, or free local
The capitals of the more remote and less well-endowed, such as Warsaw and Prague, offset with tax benefits and in-kind : an exemption of VAT, for the first, and a government contribution for five years to the cost of transport and recreation for Czech capital.
Finally, some candidates are trying to convince the heads of States, who will vote in three rounds to elect the host city, promising rental costs very low, or even nil. Maneuvers that should not leave insensitive, if they allow the EU to save money. Thus, Luxembourg promises to be purely and simply to put the premises free of charge at the disposal of the EBA and the austrian government provides for him, pay rent for 25 years. For its part, Paris provides that the State will grant 1.5 million euros to cover the costs of the leasing and development of the new premises.
The capitals close to one another geographically of London and offering already, local fitted seem, therefore, to hold the rope. At first glance, Paris, which fulfills the vast majority of criteria, appears to be in good position. But its competitors are arguments of weight. Including applications such as that of Prague, which details the way in which the EBA will remain functional during the move, on the contrary of the French capital.
Especially, the european Commission wishes to rebalance geographically the distribution of its major agencies, which could penalize Paris.
Indeed, France already has three agencies in the european decentralised (community plant variety Office, the european Union Agency for railways and, especially, the european securities and markets Authority, ESMA), which is more than the other candidate countries. Frankfurt has “only” two, but not least, the european Agency of air security (EASA) and the Authority, the european insurance and occupational pensions (EIOPA). Not to mention the european central Bank (ECB) : in a context of relocation of some teams of the major international banks in the capital of the land of Hesse, the EBA would have its place in a great “hub” european regulatory.
Presented as an asset in the Paris bid, the presence of other eu agencies is likely to cool the heads of State of the EU. In addition, in the case of a victory of Lille in the race to secure the european medicines Agency (EMA), the Hexagon will not be able to accommodate the two institutions.
The ministers of the 27 member States will vote in the 20 November elections at several towers and secret ballot.
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